What Andrew Wiggins’ Reclassification Means for UNC


Andrew Wiggins the top prep player in the world finally announced his decision on reclassification and has decided to join the class of 2013.  Wiggins is perhaps the best prep player since LeBron James and is the type of prospect who can step into any program in the nation and make a profound impact as a freshman.

This is a long anticipated move for Wiggins who obviously didn’t need two more years of high school basketball after proving he was by far the best prep player after a sensational summer on the AAU circuit.

Now the question becomes, what does this mean for his recruitment?  Kentucky and Florida State have long been the rumored favorites for his services, though both Wiggins and his high school coach have adamantly denied those claims.  Wiggins father played for FSU and UK has been all over him longer than any program in the country.

Over the summer his high school coach stated that he only heard from three programs, UNC, UK and FSU, he also verified that UNC had offered Wiggins over a year ago.  Recently Wiggins came out and said he would like more programs to recruit him and that his situation was “wide open”, that nobody was the favorite yet.

UNC head coach Roy Williams flew in on a private jet to watch Wiggins workout and visit with him on Tuesday while Kansas and Ohio State sent assistant coaches to do the same this week, Syracuse is also now said to be in the mix.

While nobody really knows what this means for UNC or any other program for that matter, I think if it does anything, it helps.  Kentucky has added several talented players in the 2013 class already and recently added James Young to the mix.  On the other hand, UNC is stacked on the perimeter and only Dexter Strickland will graduate after the 2012 season.

With PJ Hairston, Reggie Bullock, Leslie McDonald and JP Tokoto already on the roster, will Wiggins want to commit to a program wit that much depth?  It’s entirely possible that one or more of those guys will have a breakout season and go pro after this season but it is far from guaranteed.  Roy has been very selective with perimeter players in the 2013 class offering only Jabari Parker and Troy Williams and after Parker eliminated UNC, he has not went after any other wings.

No matter what happens with the other players on the roster, if Wiggins wants to come to Chapel Hill he will become a starter who plays a ton of minutes from day one.  His desire to be “the man” is unknown at this point.  His coach pointed to Young’s commitment to Kentucky as another possible reason why other programs have stepped up and started recruiting him.

The Young to UK connection is the only reason why I think this could be a good thing for Carolinas chances at landing Wiggins.  Otherwise, more opportunity and less depth on the perimeter in 2014 made things a little better if he had stayed in the 2014 class.

Then you have to look at the case of other players UNC is looking at in 2014.  UNC has offered Theo Pinson, Justise Winslow and Justin Jackson already, with Wiggins looming as a real possibility had he stayed in 2014, how would that have affected their decisions?  Going all in on a superstar like Wiggins may have taken resources away from pushing for other perimeter prospects with a greater likelihood to stay in school for more than one season.

Reasons exist to make one think his reclassifying to 2013 helps UNC, but they also exist that suggest it hurts them.  In reality, it really doesn’t matter much, Carolina wants Wiggins regardless of what class he’s in, it’s what Wiggins wants that matters.  Only now, we’ll all find out what that is sooner.